India won’t hit net-zero emissions until 2070, Modi tells Cop26

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Watch: India won’t hit net-zero emissions until 2070, Modi tells Cop26

India has set out a net-zero emissions target for 2070, the country’s prime minister Narendra Modi has told the UN’s Cop26 climate summit.

The 2070 deadline is ten years later than China’s 2060 goal, and 20 years behind the 2050 date the IPCC has said the world must hit to keep global average temperatures from soaring 1.5C above what they were in the pre-industrial era.

Announcing the pledge, along with a commitment to increase India’s renewable energy sources in the country’s energy mix by 50 per cent by 2030, Mr Modi said India was already making considerable effort to stick to the climate pledges it made in 2015 as part of the Paris agreement.

“Today, the entire world acknowledges that India is the only big economy in the world that has delivered in both letter and spirit on its Paris commitments," Mr Modi said.

He pointed to action including increasing non-fossil fuel energy and decarbonising the Indian railway system.

He also called for a global push to adopt sustainable lifestyles “instead of mindless and destructive consumption”.

India will hit net-zero emissions by 2070, PM Narendra Modi told the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow (AP)
India will hit net-zero emissions by 2070, PM Narendra Modi told the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow (AP)

Mr Modi also promised that India would reduce its projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes between now and 2030, and reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 45 per cent.

During his speech, Mr Modi also called for greater financial investment by developed countries to assist developing countries’ transition to clean economies, demanding one trillion US dollars be made available as climate finance “as soon as possible, today”.

He told world leaders: “I am sure that the decisions taken in Glasgow will safeguard the future of generations to come and give them a safe and prosperous life.”

In a speech which overran his allotted time, he apologised but said he believes “it is my duty to raise my voice for developing countries”.

Reacting to the news, Ulka Kelkar, director of the World Resources Institute (WRI) India, said the pledges were significantly more ambitious than its current national climate plans under the Paris Agreement, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

“These will take the country on a low-carbon development pathway and give strong signals to every sector of industry and society.

“Meeting these targets will not be a simple matter and will require additional investments and supporting policies,” she said.

Additional reporting by agencies.

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